Why the Dow Jumped Today, While Facebook Plummeted

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Finally, investors were able to react to some positive news out of Greece, as polls released this weekend showed the country's pro eurozone New Democracy party leading the anti-bailout Syriza party ahead of elections scheduled for June 17. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) reacted positively to the news, gaining just over 1% on renewed optimism that Greece could avoid what many investors have feared -- an exit from the eurozone.

The Dow was also helped up by positive reports out of China that many investors are expecting additional government intervention to boost growth. Meanwhile, at home, the Case-Shiller home-price index showed that March home prices fell, but not as sharply as in previous months, a sign of possible stabilization in the housing market.

Here's how the three major U.S. indices fared on the day:

Index

Change

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average125.86 [1.01%]12,580.69
Nasdaq33.46 [1.18%]2,870.99
S&P 50014.60 [1.11%]1,332.42

As for individual stocks, Bank of America (NYS: BAC) was the biggest winner on the Dow today, up 4%. The company was the main beneficiary of the positive news out of Greece and remains the Dow's largest gainer on the year, up 33%.

The second and third biggest Dow winners were Alcoa (NYS: AA) and Caterpillar (NYS: CAT) , both up around 3%. The companies are perhaps the two most exposed to China on the Dow, so today's reports of the possibility of new government stimulus was certainly welcome news for investors of these industrial giants.

Outside the Dow, Facebook (NAS: FB) continued its wild volatility, this time plummeting more than 9% on the day. It was the first day investors could trade options on Facebook's stock, which helped push down the price as most bet that the stock's slide will continue. Investors also didn't seem too enthusiastic about reports that Facebook was looking into a potential takeover of Norway-based Opera Software. Opera offers Web and mobile browsers, and could potentially help Facebook monetize its mobile platform, which the company currently gets very little revenue from. Still, any potential acquisition is far from a done deal, and analysts cautioned that an offer is likely to draw other potential bidders.

Facebook continues to face some serious questions about its long-term prospects. Chief among them are the fact that the Internet advertising-based business model is a difficult one, and that the company has a problem monetizing its significant mobile traffic. That's why we've created a new report, "Forget Facebook -- Here's the Tech IPO You Should Be Buying," which details a much better social-media stock that has a longer runway for growth than Facebook. The report won't be available forever, so get access today -- it's totally free.

At the time this article was published Brendan Byrnes owns shares of Caterpillar. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Facebook. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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